Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a novel - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Only use when identifying a work (use in conjunction with [story-identification] here) or when there is a tag ambiguity. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag.

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6
votes
1answer
116 views

Series of novellas about a video game and weird silly putty

I'm trying to identify a series of short novels I started reading in high school. I read the books at some point between 2007 and 2010 but the books seemed older based on the condition they were in, ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Short Story about Multi-Generational Societal Decay

I'm looking for a short-story about a society that experienced multi-generational decay (Earth, not a colony-ship), and the story was about two relatives confronting each other. It's at least thirty ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

SF short story (Arthur C. Clarke?) about an astronaut's realisation that Leonardo da Vinci got to the Moon?

I'm trying to identify a short story written, I think, by Arthur C. Clarke in the 1940s/50s. A lunar astronaut finds a strange rock formation which reminds him of something. He also finds footprints. ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story involving a bizarre kind of Guardian Angel

Short Story: A man found himself being given advice at one point (simple things like "Don't take the L train today", heard, but with the source unseen) that end up being very good for his safety (it ...
11
votes
1answer
192 views

Story featuring George Formby's song “Bless 'Em All”

This is a question my mother asked me and I wasn't able to answer. She is trying to identify a short story she read as a girl. It would have been written in the 1950s or earlier, and almost certainly ...
10
votes
1answer
799 views

Trying to find a Sci-Fi short story: World War 2, German scientists trying to find oil using wormholes

I'm trying to find the name of the story, and any anthologies that contain it. I seem to remember it involved German scientists trying to find oil by using wormholes, but they end up finding water ...
17
votes
1answer
674 views

Help identifying either an anthology or specific short story contained therein

When I was a kid, I had an anthology of sf stories, and now I'm trying to see if I can recover/rediscover any of them. The book itself was a hardback. I read this as a kid, so some time in the 90s. ...
6
votes
1answer
188 views

A short story involving discrimination based on size

I am trying to remember the title of a story I read as a kid. The story, set in the future, revolves around individuals that chose to reduce their size or have kids of smaller than usual stature ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

short story involving symbiotic space suit and a war against aliens

I’m trying to track down a short story that I read from my high school library in the late 80s, it would have been from one of the many short story paperback collections in circulation at the time. ...
10
votes
1answer
894 views

The ocean disappears, people suddenly hear rushing water

I'm looking for a story about the ocean disappearing one day. People walk and drive along the sand, until one day they begin to hear the sound of rushing water. The story ends just like that. From ...
35
votes
2answers
7k views

Comic book short story where a couple of robots take off their metal skin and get eaten by bugs

I've been looking for this sci-fi comic book / graphic novel for years with no luck. The book is made up of a number of short stories. These are the storylines that I remember: Two robots walk into a ...
10
votes
1answer
426 views

Short story about climbing a mountain with an alien

Looking for a short story I read years ago about mountain climbing with an alien. The alien’s name started with a K. The title was alliterative - “Climbing K2 with K???”
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Short story about a library that was a dragon hoard

I think this may have been part of an anthology, as it seems like the story was short. I used to read anthologies like "Sword and Sorceress", so it may have been in something like that. ...
7
votes
0answers
95 views

60s(?) short SF story: a scientist's head is implanted in a console to help mankind after a nuclear war

I read this, I think, in an unremembered anthology about 25 years ago but the style/language made me think of the early 1960s. The tale begins with a mid-teens protagonist deciding if he can be ...
17
votes
1answer
945 views

Emperor of Earth's spaceship stops to pick up a possible alien relic

This short story is set entirely on the emperor's personal flagship/palace, which is a monumental ship full of courtiers and all the panoply of the ruler of the solar system. He keeps a single member ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Teleportation door to another world or time [duplicate]

There is a human settlement, and there seems to have been an alien invasion, but it's long over. I've read this in a German anthology, but am sure it's British or American. It begins with a man at ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

1960s short story about a device that stops time for anyone within its field

This short story was in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy anthology I read in the late 1960s. It involves a scientist who invents a small device with a circular cable loop that is capable of slowing time almost to ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Searching for a Sci-fi short story about a parasitic fungus that makes people climb poles and explode

This short story concerns a parasitic fungus, very similar to the infamous Ophiocordyceps unilateralis in ants. In this story, it was used as a bio-weapon, and has taken over large swaths of America. ...
8
votes
1answer
831 views

Main character in a society where people have embedded medical devices grows a horn

I read a science fiction collection that included a story called Metamorphosis, about a society where everyone has an imbedded medical analyzer. The main character of the story goes through a physical ...
12
votes
1answer
220 views

Short story about an astronaut experiencing time dilation

I read a short story online about an astronaut who goes on a solo trip in a ship capable of near light speed. As time goes on, he gets more and more out of sync with Earth because of time dilation. ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the name of this post-apocalyptic story about a woman reminiscing?

I read it in grade school- it was one of a number of short stories in my McDougal-Littell literature textbook. I recall other stories in that textbook included "All Summer in a Day" and &...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Short story - 60s or earlier - meteorite is actually crashed alien ship full of tiny insect-sized beings

This story was in one of the first SF anthologies I ever read, in the mid-1960s. A meteor lands near to a house. The householder finds it and carries it into his house (meteor is grapefruit/football ...
11
votes
1answer
227 views

Story about an invasion of Earth by creatures marginally more advanced than humans

Several years ago, I was reading a short story online about an invasion of Earth by aliens not much more advanced than humans. There is essentially one key technology holding mankind back from ...
14
votes
0answers
120 views

Short story where you had quotas for daily activities allowed to be done by yourself instead of hiring professionals

I'm trying to find the short story where due to shortage of jobs, people were not allowed to do most things by themselves, but instead were forced to hire professionals. Everybody had daily quotas for ...
10
votes
1answer
302 views

Short sci-fi story about a hellish, industrial isolated domed city, where people live in hypnosis to see it as beautiful

I'm looking for the title/author of a short sci-fi story about a domed isolated city where people undergo (without knowing) a hypnotic treatment, to see the city as lush and beautiful, with parks and ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Short story where an abused girl's parents switch places with a photo

The main character is a child whose parents suddenly feel the child's feelings & memories of abuse. The father is sexually aroused by abusing the child. (Ick ick ick) The child is always sad in ...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

Robert Sheckley short story about a chaotic world [duplicate]

I have a vague memory of a short story that I think was by Robert Sheckley about a chaotic world without the usual laws. So, for example, the protagonist would open his inside jacket pocket to reach ...
61
votes
0answers
1k views

Spambot becomes self aware but every attempt to contact gets filtered

About 3-6 years ago I read a short story (online, I think) formatted as a series of emails sent by a spambot that had become self aware and was trying to make contact but, due to its origins, was ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

Story I read in early 70's about men forced inside container wringing water endlessly from fabric

I read a short story long ago about a team of men in a hollow container. They were forced to endlessly wring liquid from some type of fabric. But, whenever they managed any success, more moisture or ...
102
votes
0answers
4k views

Married couple pretend to like each other due to crystal sculpture

Years ago, I remember reading a short story (as I remember it) about a couple whose prized possession is semi-living crystal structure that is sensitive to their relationship; it grows and maintains ...
6
votes
2answers
147 views

Short Story about appliances trying to sabotage humans

I read a short story (at least I'm pretty sure it was a short story) in a high school dystopian class. It was basically about appliances and other technologies getting smart and trying to gain more ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Scifi anthology containing stories about fighting glass aliens and a boy who becomes a vampire

I assume you guys get thousands of these. Well here goes. 'Several' stories in 1 book, read in the early 80's, dating at least as far back as the 70's and 60's maybe. Story one is some kind of ...
7
votes
1answer
207 views

Short sci-fi story about a seer/psychic girl who sees people who are about to die as being transparent

I'm looking for the author/title of a story that features a seer/psychic girl able to detect who is about to die soon, seeing them as transparent. The girl falls in love with a man who eventually ...
12
votes
0answers
139 views

Looking for short horror story about a dog

I think the story I’m looking for is from a book of short stories from the 80s or early 90s, all horror. It was about a man who is stuck in his chair because his dog has turned on him. It won’t let ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Sci-fi short story about suicidal female singer with the ability to receive feedback from the audience into her brain

Looking for the title/author of a sci-fi short story part of an anthology (probably from the 80s): the story was about a female famous singer with the ability to receive audience feedback into her ...
10
votes
0answers
138 views

Sabotage of underwater city by a simple expedient that snowballs (as in “leaving a vent open”)

I'm trying to find back a short story from probably the 50s or 60s, possibly even earlier, concerning the successful sabotage of an underwater city by a unfriendly bunch of terrorists. They had to ...
6
votes
1answer
863 views

Subterranean civilization lives with a constant noise of machinery

In the mid-70's, my dad was attending university and had a paperback book anthology of short stories which was for a fiction class. From the best of my memory... One story I read from the book was ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Short story where a reptilian alien named Michael is revealed when burned at the stake (might be titled Michael)

This was a short science fiction story about an alien named Michael who goes to a village but ends up being burned at the stake, which reveals his reptilian body. He befriends a girl and her brother ...
8
votes
0answers
120 views

Aliens run a BBS to conduct anthropological investigation of Earth

This story most likely dates from the 1980s, or possibly the very early 1990s. The protagonist has discovered a BBS that you can download cool stuff from (like most BBSes) as long as you first give it ...
31
votes
3answers
4k views

Identifying a SF story about explorers on a strange planet travelling down a slowly steepening slope

I think this story is at least 40 or 50 years old as I mainly read classic SF when I was a teenager. All I can remember about it is some explorers or soldiers were exploring an enormous seemingly ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story about aliens who want to trade items for information, stories, jokes etc

So the aliens sent down pods, maybe they were phones, requesting info and would give you things in return. I remember a guy asked for a device that could make anything you want using nanotechnology. ...
2
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0answers
98 views

Short story about child in a simulation and a pumpkin

Pretty sure this was a short story. There is a child who likes riding his bicycle around town. One day (for halloween) his mother asks him to go buy a Pumpkin, and he rides out of town and buys a ...
33
votes
1answer
4k views

Robots on planet with no humans until a rocket with a human lands

I'm hoping someone will recognize this short story. It involves a culture of robots on a planet, and the story is told from the perspective of one of them. One day a rocket lands. The robots, ...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Who was Gavin Hyde and what happened to him?

Gavin Hyde wrote three stories: The Contest (1953), Nor the Moon by Night (1958) and Sparkie's Fall (1959). All three can be found on Internet archives. In none of the magazines/books they appeared ...
25
votes
0answers
473 views

Looking for Sci-fi Short Story - Aliens observe a planet where machines continue a war after the people are dead

I've read this short story within the past 5 years, somewhere online, but I don't believe it was a new or recent story. It is definitely a short story, and a very short one at that, possibly 1700 ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

60's sci-fi short: invading aliens scared off by kid’s comic books

Our English teacher read this to our class in the late 60’s. Advance scouts preparing for an alien invasion explore a boy’s bedroom and are mystified by his sports equipment, thinking it is objects ...
8
votes
1answer
245 views

Children's Fantasy Book involving village of dwarves fighting dragons and tug-of-war

I read this early/mid 90's, the book I am looking for is a collection of illustrated short stories. The book itself was large in size (oversized) and filled with illustrations. I read the Indonesian ...
10
votes
1answer
458 views

Short SciFi story where humans have evolved into pure energy beings

I'm trying to find a short SciFi story where humans have evolved into pure energy beings. Probably published in the 60s or 70s. Probably < 10 pages. As best I can remember, the story takes place ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Collection of science fiction short stories, one of them has an astronaut travelling to a planet with aliens breeding naked humans

I'm trying to find a book I read a very long time ago that I read at my local public library, didn't check it out but just flipped through and read parts of it there. It was an older looking book, my ...
14
votes
1answer
989 views

Science fiction short story about mysterious phenomenon caused by alien artifact

Trying to recall a science fiction short story which begins with the protagonist being asked to join a husband and wife team on a trip to South America (IIRC) to investigate a mysterious phenomenon (I ...

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